Covid Scotland: Humza Yousaf urges those eligible to come forward for spring booster as country experiences another wave of infections
Scots who have not yet had their spring Covid booster are being urged to come forward.
Additional vaccinations have been offered to people over 75 or those aged over 12 who have underlying health conditions.
Clinics are open until June 30 and anyone in these groups can book online or call the national vaccination helpline to book an appointment.
Some health boards are also operating drop-in clinics and details can be found on their websites.
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Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased so many people have come forward for their spring booster, which provides important extra protection for our most vulnerable groups.
“Vaccination has been our most effective tool against coronavirus. However, the degree of protection offered wanes over time.
“We are seeing higher numbers of infections across our communities at the moment which is why booster vaccination is needed to maintain the best protection against Covid-19 for those at highest risk of severe effects from the virus.
“Almost 90% of over-75s and around two thirds of those who are aged over 12 and are immunosuppressed have already taken up the offer of a spring booster and if you have missed yours for any reason then you can rearrange it online at NHS Inform or by calling the helpline on 0800 030 8013 seven days a week between 8am and 8pm.
“We continue to encourage everyone to receive the doses they are eligible for as and when they become available.”
Professor Linda Bauld said the Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5. are part of the reason for the increase in cases and a “small but not significant” rise in the number of people in hospital.
But she stressed vaccines are working well in the vast majority of people and are making a difference between the risk from infection and the risk of severe disease.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Prof Bauld said: “I think it’s pretty clear to me from some of the data we’ve seen that we are certainly in another wave of infection, if not already it will be soon and that certainly seems to be the case in a number of countries.
“That is not a big surprise because we did anticipate we would have a rising level of infections every three or four months potentially, that’s what international colleagues have said.
“It might be surprising to people though because it’s the summer, and they’re used to hearing from us (that) the weather is better so people are more outside and therefore we reduce the risks through our behaviour.
“That’s true, but what we’ve got is Omicron and a different type of it, BA.4 and 5 – there’s these Omicron sub-lineages which seem to be rising in number in the UK and I think that’s part of the explanation why we’re beginning to see more cases, and we have seen a small but not significant rise in the number of people in hospital as well.”